Protein is all the buzz in the health community. This is one of the main reasons why the numbers of people trying the keto diet are on the rise, and many protein-boosting products are available on retail shelves.
However, not all protein sources are equal. For example, there’s organic and grass-fed beef, while some are fed with GMO produce.
The same can be said for protein powders. We can find natural protein powder, but there are some variants with artificial ingredients.
In this post, we will be discussing what natural protein powder is, its pros and cons, as well as how to select quality brands.
What Is Natural Protein Powder?
Natural protein powder is a product derived organically from sources of high protein in the environment. The most common sources are:
- Whey: The cow’s milk contains two types of protein called casein and whey. The whey is a remaining liquid byproduct when the cow’s milk is strained. Whey is a source of high protein and is commonly used for improving strength and performance for athletes.
- Casein: Casein is the second type of protein found in the milk of mammals. It is slow digesting, which means it can improve one’s satiety. It is also primarily used for the restoration of muscles after physical activity.
- Soy protein: Soy protein is a plant-based sourced from soybeans. The protein from the beans is isolated, removing fat and fibre. This is a common route for people who are vegans but still want to use protein powder.
- Other plant-based sources: Aside from soy protein, there are also other plant-based sources such as hemp, pea, nuts, and seeds which are converted into powder.
Natural variants essentially mean that actual and natural protein sources are used to create the product, as some protein powders have ingredients that are artificially created.
For example, there can be additives such as artificial flavourings, colours, or sweeteners.
What Is The Difference Between Natural Protein Powder And Other Protein Sources?
A question commonly asked by people wanting to shift from other protein sources to natural protein powder is the list of contrasting differences.
To fully understand, below you will find the usual differences of natural protein powder from artificial ones or other protein sources.
All protein without the saturated fat or unnecessary calories
Having pure protein is one of the most nutritious ways to increase feelings of fullness. Thus, it is really helpful for people to lose weight.
The problem with other protein sources, such as beef or chicken, is that it contains fat along with the protein which makes the weight loss process slower.
Thus, many people rely on protein powder to get their macronutrients in place without the added fat.
Another difference in natural variants is its source. Some proteins can be genetically modified for mass production, which possibly makes them unappealing for others and can have inferior quality.
Natural ingredients typically cause fewer side effects, if any, and are long-established to be better for the body. Thus, many people prefer organic ingredients rather than artificial ones.
Protein source without the additives
If you’re trying to be consistent with a healthy lifestyle, it is ideal to avoid as many additives as possible. Natural protein powders contain little to no additives such as sugar, extra sweeteners, colours, or extenders.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Using Natural Protein Powder?
Although natural protein powder seems like an all-good deal, there are still downsides in using such products. To fully weigh the pros and cons of having it as a part of your daily diet, take a look at this list:
- Easy and accessible protein source: If you want an easy and quick way to recover your muscles from a workout, or something to fill you up during busy mornings, having protein powder shakes or drinks can be a great alternative to meal preparation.
- Better quality: Prior experience with other types of protein powders may have left you with a bad taste. Thus, a natural variant could possibly give you a better experience.
- Variety of choices: If you have dietary restrictions by choice or for other health reasons, natural protein powder products have a lot of variants including plant-based or gluten-free types.
- Expensive: Organic and natural products are often not budget-friendly. One who is trying to be frugal with food choices may not afford these variants of protein powders in the long run.
- Inconvenient compared to other protein powders: Other protein powders are mostly about adding water and stirring. However, since natural protein powder does not have sweeteners, flavourings, or additives, you may need to add your own flavourings or prepare it along with food such as oats or soups. This may be inconvenient if you don’t have extra time to prepare.
All in all, natural protein powders are a great choice for people who want a high-quality protein source and are willing to spend more. It all boils down to one’s priority, finances, and time constraints.
How To Choose A Quality Natural Protein Powder
If you do decide to take natural protein powders regularly, here are some things you need to remember to pick quality brands among others:
Look at the protein profile
Some plant-based natural protein powders do not have the extensive protein profile such as those made from peas.
If you plan to choose plant-based protein and want a complete profile, it is ideal to have blended protein powder products such as soy and pea or pea and rice.
Otherwise, you can opt to have other whole food protein sources if your powder does not have a full amino acid profile.
Identify your purpose for drinking protein powders
In order to choose a quality protein powder that suits your needs, you will have to know your ultimate purpose of using one. If your goal is for muscle building, natural whey powder is an ideal choice.
If you want to experience more fullness without having to take meals, natural casein powder is the way to go.
Some variants have blended whey and casein for balanced needs. You will have a more positive experience if you identify your purpose for taking protein powders and pick the best ones suited for your needs.
Check third-party tested protein powders
Unlike prescribed medications, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate supplements such as protein powders. Thus, an alternative is to find third-party regulators by looking at labels. Some examples of reputable third-party regulators are:
- NSF International’s Certified for Sports
- United States Pharmacopeia (USP)
- LGC Group
Seeing these certifications or regulations on the label ensures that consumers like you that there are tests run in protein powder brands.
Consider ingredient sensitivities
Another factor to keep in mind in choosing a quality natural protein powder is ingredient sensitivities. Some people are actually allergic to casein, nut-based protein, and other ingredients.
Make sure to check labels and see anything that will cause a reaction in your body.
Keep in mind that shifting to a new protein powder may also cause digestive issues.
If these problems persist, stop the use or ask a physician and dietitian about recommended protein powders for your sensitivities.
Natural Protein Powder: An Organic Variant For The Health-Conscious
With so many choices for protein powder. I hope this in-depth post will hopefully guide you if the natural variants are right for your needs.
Knowing your purpose of intake, preferred type of protein, and label-checking. Are just some of the simplest yet effective ways to have the best choices in natural protein powder.